Mike Resnick Kirinyaga

ISBN 13: 9780345417015

Kirinyaga

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9780345417015: Kirinyaga
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Hailed for his grandeur of imagination and superb worldbuilding, winner of and nominee for more than fifty awards for his outstanding work, Mike Resnick has rightfully won a place as one of science fiction's master storytellers. Now, in Kirinyaga, Resnick presents the haunting and utterly compelling tale of one man's utopia.

By the twentieth second century in the African nation of Kenya, polluted cities sprawl up the flanks of sacred Mount Kirinyaga. Great animal herds are but distant memories. European crops now grow on the sweeping savannas. But Koriba, a distinguished, educated man of Kikuyu ancestry, knows that life was different for his people centuries ago--and he is determined to build a utopian colony, not on earth, but on the terraformed planetoid he proudly names Kirinyaga.

As the mundumugu--witch doctor--Koriba leads the colonists. Reinstating the ancient customs and stringent laws of the Kikuyu people, he alone decides their fate. He must face many challenges to the struggling colony's survival: from a brilliant young girl whose radiant intellect could threaten their traditional ways to the interference of "Maintenance" which holds the power to revoke the colony's charter. All the while, only Koriba--unbeknownst to his people--maintains the computer link to the rest of humanity.

Ironically, the Kirinyaga experiment threatens to collapse--not from violence or greed--but from humankind's insatiable desire for knowledge. The Kikuyu people can no more stand still in time than their planet can stop revolving around its sun.

Deeply moving, swiftly paced, and profound in its implications, Kirinyaga is Mike Resnick's most triumphant work to date. His Fable of Utopia is the book every science fiction reader will want to own and savor for years to come.

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Review:

Kirinyaga: A Fable of Utopia collects Mike Resnick's famous Kirinyaga stories and ties them together in a thematic arc that has novel-like continuity. The story focuses on Koriba, a mundumugu (sort of like a witch doctor and a wise man rolled into one) of the Kikuyu tribe. Koriba feels that his tribe has been corrupted by "European" technology, so he helps to establish a small, utopian planetoid named Kirinyaga where the Kikuyu can return to their roots, farming the land and worshipping the god Ngai without technological or cultural interference. As utopias go, Kirinyaga experiences its fair share of problems--both from within and without--each of which is detailed in the individual chapters and stories. The writing is not stylish but the stories are all excellent, and Resnick does a good job of integrating the traditional Kikuyu way of life into tales that any culture can appreciate. Readers looking for a novel may come away a bit disappointed because this book is really a collection of stories, but as far as collections go, few are better than Kirinyaga.

From the Publisher:

The first time I read Mike Resnick's Kirinyaga, I was sitting on my back
patio on a blazing summer afternoon. Instantly, he transported me to
another hot world light years from mine. It was a harsh, untamed place
where men and women had rejected Western ways and chosen to live in the
manner of their Kikuyu ancestors.

The story Mike tells of the colony and the man who founded it is forever
etched in my mind. Before this, I'd known his work by reputation, but had
never had the chance to read something of his. After Kirinyaga, though,
there's no questions he's got me hooked. I can't wait to see what he comes
up with next.

--Amy Stout, Consulting Editor

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